Celebrating the Class of 2019
June 5, 2019
On Friday, May 31, Wilmington Montessori School proudly celebrated the Class of 2019, Addie Laster and Lydia Snyder - the school's first class of eighth-grade graduates.
Students, parents, grandparents and friends gathered in the gym, where Head of School Lisa Lalama shared opening remarks. She offered inspiring words for Addie and Lydia as they reflected on their time at WMS and prepare for school:
Today is the day that is all about these two young women…their accomplishments, their interests, their dreams. It was only two years ago that they were sitting in these seats graduating from sixth grade, which was then the highest achievement at Wilmington Montessori School. However, one thing we know about WMS is that we are open to new ideas, to creative thoughts, and ultimately to change.

These two young women have done so much. They have brought their energy, kind hearts, enthusiasm for learning, for the arts and for life to WMS. They’ve worked hard not only on their individual assignments and accomplishments, but also on behalf of others - through community service, creating a musical, helping their fellow middle school students as well as other students in our school and in sharing their gifts and talents with all of us .

As Maria Montessori said, and as so aptly describes Addie and Lydia, “Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves.”

- Lisa Lalama
Lisa then introduced graduation speaker Ava Gulino (WMS '10), who recently finished her junior year as an environmental studies major at Bates College in Maine.

Ava has remained connected with WMS over the years through various alumni events, as well as through her parents. Her mother, Becca, has helped organize alumni events, and her father, Rick, recently joined the WMS Board of Directors.
Alumni Speaker Ava Gulino
Read the full text of Ava's speech here and look for an article about Ava in our alumni newsletter this summer.

Following Ava's address, Addie and Lydia's classmates from the class of 2020 read poems about each graduate (see below), and then Addie and Lydia each said a few words about their WMS experiences. Lead Middle School teacher Mandy Balanetsky offered words of wisdom to the graduates before each student was presented with her diploma.
My students are so great because of the many teachers before me who instilled a love of learning like no other. My students are so great because of the wonderful families who raise them to be curious, kind, and polite. And above all else, my students are so great because this environment produces student role models who pave the way for those who follow.

Addie and Lydia are prime examples of these role models. They have shown their younger classmates how to work hard, persevere, care for others, juggle a large workload and an abundance of after-school activities, respect their teachers and peers, bring humor to our classroom, and get the most out of their expeditionary learning experiences.

- Mandy Balanetsky
Seventh-Graders' Poems to the Graduates
The sharer of goldfish and the speaker of the truth
A composer, a singer, and a broadway critiquer
Hard working, determined, funny, and kind
Such a large part of Odyssey of the Mind
You’re our motivational speaker and quite the deep thinker
The door is always open thanks to you
And our questions are always answered when we need help too
Thank you for playing such an important role in our class
We wish you the best at your new WMS
The lover of sleep and the classroom snack stealer
An artist, a bird watcher, and a frisbee competitor
Focused, intelligent, humorous, and kind
Always a leader, even in the toughest of times
You’re our voice of reason when we get out of hand
And you always help us when we don’t understand
Thank you for being an example of an exceptional student and peer
You will be greatly missed in our classroom next year
Charter will be a better place with you as part of their school
Thank you to everyone who helped make last week's graduation such a special celebration. We wish Addie and Lydia well as they prepare for high school in the fall - Addie will attend the White Mountain School in New Hampshire and Lydia will attend Charter School of Wilmington. We look forward to hearing what great things the future has in store for the Class of 2019.
The Class of 2013 is College-Bound!
Members of the WMS sixth-grade class of 2013 graduated from high school this year. The colleges they will attend include:

  • Delaware State University
  • Drexel University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
Stay Connected
At WMS, alumni and their families are an important part of our community! Please stay in touch by emailing your news to  alumni@wmsde.org , and watch your mail this summer for WMS's new alumni newsletter! You can also connect with us through  Facebook Instagram and  Twitter .
Give Back to WMS... Your Support Makes a Difference!
Gifts to WMS's Annual Fund help create the special WMS experiences our graduates remember. Donations support our classrooms filled with Montessori materials and state-of-the-art technology, help maintain our beautiful campus with its creek and trails, support our Montessori-trained teachers and arts programs, and allow us to offer financial aid so more children can benefit from a WMS education. Help us keep those traditions alive while we continue to create new learning opportunities for children. 

Every gift helps us keep WMS thriving for future generations! Visit  www.wmsde.org/annualfund  to make your tax-deductible gift to keep WMS strong!
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